How to Make a Sphere Cakes

Sphere Cake Tutorial
This tutorial demonstrates how to bake, slice, fill and frost cakes in the shape of hemispheres and full spheres without any carving. With this simple shape, you can build all kinds of 3D sculpted cakes including soccer balls, basketballs, planets, faces and globes.

Sphere and Hemisphere Cake Designs

Here are some examples of custom 3D cakes made from the simple half sphere shape including an owl cake, a fish cake, a beach ball cake.

Half Sphere Cake Tutorial

Below is an example of two 3/4 sphere cakes presented side-by-side to make a booby cake. Follow this link to read my Breast Wishes Cake Tutorial.
Breast Wishes Boob Cake

Below is an example of a princess cake made from a combination of a half sphere and a traditional cylinder shape cake. Follow this link to watch my 5 Part Princess Doll Cake Video Tutorial.

Half Sphere Cake Tutorial

How to Make a Half Sphere Cake

Sphere Cake Tutorial
The easiest way to bake a half sphere cake is in a bowl. A regular stainless steel prep bowl works but you can also use an 8” hemisphere pan.

How to Make a Sphere Cake Wicked Goodies

So that the bowl sits level throughout the baking process, I nest it within a regular round cake pan.

Items Needed

 

1. Bake the Cake in a Bowl

Breast Wishes Boob Cake
Bake the cake upside down in a bowl. No pan liner is needed; just be sure to grease & flour the bowl thoroughly before pouring in the batter. I also use heating core for this shape to prevent the outsides of the cake from browning too much, and I grease & flour that inside and out too. 

 

2. Fill the Cake in the Bowl

Half Sphere Cake Tutorial
Once the cake is baked, cooled, and sliced into layers (follow this link to watch my cake slicing video), line the same bowl with plastic wrap and begin assembling the cake in the bowl using my cake filling method, which involves alternating layers of cake with layers of filling right inside the bowl. In this case, the filling is simply vanilla buttercream frosting. Here is the link to 11 cake filling recipes that can be used with this method.

Half Sphere Cake Tutorial

Once the cake is filled to the top of the bowl, cover it with the remaining plastic wrap and put it in the freezer for 30 minutes or until the cake is cold enough to release from the pan.

3. Pop the Cake Out of the Bowl

Half Sphere Cake Tutorial
De-panning the cake should be relatively easy in this case since the bowl was lined with plastic wrap. With a heat gun, torch, hot water bath or blow-dryer, warm the outside of the pan just a little bit then tug on the plastic. The cake ought to release itself. To learn more, follow this link for my tutorial on filling and depanning cakes in the baking pan.

How to Frost a Half Sphere Cake

Frosting rounded shapes is not as complicated as one would think. In my opinion, it’s easier than frosting traditional square and cylinder shapes because because there are no corners or edges involved. You can use the palm of your hand to do this job. Or you can use a couple of tools.

METHOD #1 Half Sphere Cake Frosting with Tools

Half Sphere Cake Tutorial

Using a small offset spatula, crumb coat the cake with buttercream frosting. Transfer the cake onto a working platform of some sort (a flat platter, a larger cardboard circle, an old cake board, or in this case, a pizza pan) to support cake while it’s being moved in and out of the fridge to be frosted. Chill the cake in the refrigerator until the buttercream is cold and no longer sticky.

If you intend for your finish to be made of buttercream, Add a second coat in the same manner and chill the cake again until the buttercream is cold and hard (15 minutes or more).

Half Sphere Cake Tutorial
While spinning the cake on a turntable, scrape the rough edges off the cake with the flat end of a plastic bowl scraper. This only works if the cake is well-chilled so that the buttercream frosting is firm.

Half Sphere Cake Tutorial
Buff spatula marks away by rubbing the surface of the cake with a piece of clean paper towel while spinning the turntable.

Half Sphere Cake Tutorial
Chill the cake again before running an offset spatula around the bottom to release it from its working platform. Then, transfer the cake to a serving platter before decorating it.

METHOD #2 Half Sphere Cake Frosting with Your Hand

Sometimes, the best tool for the job is your hand. An open palm has just the right curve for frosting rounded and contoured cakes. For the smoothest possible finish, wear a safety glove.

How to Frost a Rounded Cake by Wicked Goodies

How to Make a Full Sphere Cake

Sphere Cake Tutorial

To make a full sphere cake, bake two half spheres. Level off the curve on one of the hemispheres (see photo below) and fit it with a piece of cardboard to serve as the cake’s bottom. This will help prevent the cake from rolling.

Half Sphere Cake Tutorial

Proceed with the top half as per a half sphere cake.

Half Sphere Cake Tutorial

If the diameter of the spheres are greater than 7″ in diameter, add wooden dowel supports to the bottom half so it doesn’t get crushed by the weight of the top.

Half Sphere Cake Tutorial

Frost both halves upside down then fit them together and smooth over the seam.

Piping on a cake by Wicked Goodies

In the above clip, I’m decorating a sphere cake on a turntable using a parchment paper piping cone filled with chocolate buttercream frosting.

Sphere Cake Tutorial

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Comments

How to Make a Sphere Cakes — 74 Comments

  1. I meant to post these last year! Your tutorials have helped so much! Assembling my cakes in the pan has changed my baking life.

    • Elizabeth – Wow! Is that Wonder Woman holding up the weight of the planet? I love how you did the blue/white/green swirl. Even more impressive is how you got that sphere up in the air. Well done! Thank you so much for sharing a photo. So glad to hear the pan trick is working for you!

  2. was wondering if you used a three or four inch cake board on the bottom of the full sphere cake. (tried to post this but wouldn’t go thru – hope this isn’t a duplicate )

  3. Hello and thank you for your tutorial. I have a client that wants a fishing bobber cake for a 1st birthday smash cake. Is there any other suggestions of supporting the two cakes without using wood dowels since it’s for a 1 year old? Also, my client wants the cake to be white but I know that cake batter is not heavy enough to be made into a ball. Any suggestions on another cake batter that would be close to a white cake? Thanks so much!

    • You could use bubble tea straws instead. If the cake is very small (4 inches or less diameter) you should be able to get away with no supports. Another alternative is to make just a half sphere. It’s probably more appropriate for that kind of occasion + no supports needed.

  4. Thank you for the tutorial. For the full sphere, do you keep both cardboard bases and attach them with buttercream? Thanks in advance.

  5. I am a sophomore student in high school. We were asked to make a model of an animal cell, and I thought of baking a cake. I’m a beginner baker. Would a Pyrex glass bowl work? Or does it have to be metal? Any advice you have for creating the look of an animal cell would be fabulous!!! Thank you!

  6. Hi, I want to make a hemisphere cake for my son’s birthday. But I’d like to make it a few days in advance and freeze it. When do you suggest freezing? After cutting layers and putting back in the pan with buttercream? Also, any advice on defrosting? Thank you so much!

  7. Can I freeze the cake in the pan with the layers filled for a few days? And then how should i defrost? I’d love any advice you have. Trying to make this cake for my son’s birthday, but want to be able to do some of it in advance. Thank you!

  8. Hi! I am going to use this tutorial to make a dog with two spherical parts. I was wondering how you transfer your cakes from the cake board you use for icing to the final cake board. The cake board the dog will be on is 13x19inch which won’t fit in the fridge, but I’m concerned about moving the cakes off cake boards.

    • Technically what I refer to as the “cake cardboard” stays attached to the cake from start to finish, so you can always move the cake around. It basically fuses with the cake, becomes part of it like the wrapper to cupcake does, except you can’t see it because it’s underneath and gets frosted over. The working platform on the other hand is the part that is temporary – you use that up until the point when you transfer the cake to the serving platter. It’s just for moving the cake around as you’re frosting and decorating it.

      Are you sure you can’t move things around to free up a whole shelf in your fridge? Those dimensions are doable for a standard fridge. If not, hopefully this cake requires minimal work after assembly so you’re not rushing around trying to do last minute decorations.

  9. Do you have any tips for some kind of support that will prevent the cake from rolling away? I want to make a cake that’s a complete sphere, but am afraid I won’t be able to transport it when I do… It’d be nice if there was some kind of base with a rod on it that I could get.

    • Bart,
      After step 9 above, I show a photo with explanation on how to level off the bottom of the cake and add a cardboard round so the cake doesn’t roll away. Secure that cardboard to the cake drum or platter as you would with a standard cake, using sturdy tape, hot glue, or my favorite option: glue dots. I recommend adding dowels as supports in the bottom half and two long sharp dowels to pass through both halves to keep the cake secure in transport. More here on my cake dowel support method.

  10. Thanks for the tutorial. I am making a 10″ dome cake for a party. Do you have any suggestions and or tips on how to cut it? Do I tell the caterer to cut it like a regular 10″ round? Worried that the pieces from the middle will be awkwardly tall. Thanks!

  11. Hi! How many servings does a 6 inch ball cake give? Also, whats the best chocolate cake recipe to use for this kind of pan? Thanks! Great tutorial!

  12. Do you have a favourite cake recipe that works well in the hemisphere pans? Ours just rose in the middle, leaving the sides way down.
    Cheers,
    M

  13. I think it is wonderful that you have taken the time to answer every question! I learned something from every comment and answer. I am working on a turkey cake and believe this tutorial has made my ideas click together. Thank you and Happy holidays to all bakers out there

    • this email is for Julie, who posted on November 4, 2015, saying that she was working on a turkey cake. I, too, want to make a turkey cake, but out of tofu. We have a co-worker who is Vegan and I don’t want him to feel left out when we have our annual Thanksgiving Dinner at work. I have no clue how to bake the tofu in a shape that resembles a baked turkey. Just wondering if her idea from last year worked. Or do you have any ideas?? Thanks

      • Patty,
        I have reached out to Julie to let her know you’ve asked a question of her but I am going to throw my own two cents in here as well since I’ve done a couple bird cakes of my own. Using the method shown above, I constructed a round body using two half sphere cakes. I sculpted the head and neck separately using modeling chocolate wrapped around rice treats which were formed around a skewer, which I kept anchored in a piece of styrofoam, which itself was sealed with plastic wrap because styrofoam tends to shed. You can see photos of how this came out looking on my facebook page here: Rooster Cake

        In your case, since the turkey is going to be made of tofu and is just for one person, you might consider cutting yourself a break and doing something more simple and 2D such as building a half a body on a large platter (just one half sphere) that leaves enough space for you to draw the head out of gravy or form it out of vegetables laying down flat as opposed to constructing a whole standing up figure.

  14. Never use paper towels to touch food because they have toxic chemicals in them which is why you never see suggestions for using in cooking on the packages are the ads for paper towels.

    • I would be more likely to put cardboard between the two hemisphere cakes if the cake was medium or large sized. Add some dowels to the bottom too. Read the comments below for more info about dowels.

      • Thanks for your help with another one of my daughter’s birthday cakes! You’re awesome as always! I would stress the use of SEVERAL dowels on the bottom half. I did not take Kristen’s advice seriously enough and only put two dowels. It started crushing so I quickly took off the top half off and put more dowels. Saved it!

    • Fill the pan 1/3 – 1/2 way with batter depending on how much the batter tends to rise. It will dome up in the middle more than it usually does so you have to put a little more batter than usual.

  15. Hi I plan on making a half sphere cake. It’s going to be a kettle. Have attached an image of what I am trying to make. So I need to place the half sphere dome side down. I was just wondering what kind if support will it need?

    Thanks

    • See the photo in the article above where it says “Level off one of the half spheres (above left) and fit it with a piece of cardboard to serve as the cake’s bottom.” The half sphere in the left of that photo is how I would recommend building this cake. You probably need some supports for the spout and handle.

  16. Weird question, but where did you get a hold of the yellow bowl scraper as shown in the picture? I have one at my work and we desperately need more since they are literally the best ones i’ve ever used. or if you could recommend some that are similar? most that i come across are too big, to flexible, or don’t have a smooth enough edge for finishing cakes.

    • Hey Ali,
      When I worked as a pastry chef, I got them for free from kitchen supply salesman, so the yellow one in the photos is not on the market. But you can find them online here: plastic bench scraper. In a pinch, you can also make a similar type of bendy cake frosting implement by cutting a U shape out of an empty soda bottle.

  17. Loved it I’m going to try this, the last time I tried a round cake the top crushed the bottom so I’ll try your suggestion.

    • I recommend two things: #1 is to insert three thin dowels into the bottom half sphere for support (just one dowel is not enough support). #2 is to keep that cardboard base underneath the top half of the sphere intact so that it can rest like a base on top of the dowels. Then if you are planning to move or transport the cake at all, I would also recommend inserting one more dowel down the middle to secure the two halves together.

  18. hi, I am attempting an angry bird cake for my son’s 4th birthday this weekend and just purchased the daddio 8″ sphere cake pan. Though I have never covered a cake with fondant before I am going to (nervously) attempt it!
    Do you know how much fondant I will need to cover the full sphere? (ie both 1/2s put together?)
    I am printing out your instructions above, thanks so much for posting this!!
    Holly

    • That would depend on how thinly you roll the fondant. Are you making the fondant from scratch or buying it? 2 cups worth would probably be enough but it would not hurt to have some extra on hand, just in case.

  19. I baked 2 sphere cakes in 2 halves. why did they rise in the centre and not the sides. what am I doing wrong. I used a victoria sandwich mixture.

    • Not sure why it works but someone told me to push the uncooked cake mix from the middle of the pan to the sides so u get a dint in the middle before putting in the oven and when it cooks it magically levels out, not sure how but I’m not complaining 😉

        • Since the batter is so heavy when it’s raw, it has a tendency to dome when it’s dropped into the pan, which just adds to the problem created when it rises in the middle during baking. With a spatula or similar implement, try distributing the batter more around the edges of the pan so it laps up the side a little bit. Push it away from the middle. This will help achieve a flatter surface on the finished cake.

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